Recently when I was struggling with how to respond to a difficult situation, I actually found myself asking this question:
The answer that came to me seemed simple:
Jesus would respond to the situation with love.
Figuring out what love would look like in this situation was a more difficult question, but I knew that love was the right answer when our Gospel reading last week included John 13:34-35:
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Our priest explained that this commandment to love includes not only the love of family and friends that comes easily, but also includes the love of strangers–and people we don’t even like. She said that love can be a choice, something that we can do whether we feel loving or not. (You can read her sermon here.)
This made me realize that the love Jesus was talking about is an action word. Jesus wasn’t commanding us to have warm fuzzy feelings for each other, Jesus was commanding us to act in ways that reflect His love, to treat others as lovingly as He treats us.
I still haven’t figured out exactly what I should do about my situation, but for now being patient and biting my tongue seem to be the most loving responses that I can manage.
Do you believe that love is an action word?